Why 'The Notebook' Is Not Relationship Goals
Politics and Activism

Why 'The Notebook' Is Not Relationship Goals

Let's stop idolizing toxic relationships.

5021
Having Time

Imagine a man invades your personal space, asks you out, and you say no. He follows you and asks you again, twice. After three explicit “no”'s, he jumps on the ferris wheel you are on, asks you out three more times, again ignoring your disinterest, then threatens to kill himself unless you say you’ll date him. Just saying yes is not enough: unless you say the full sentence, “Yes, I want to go on a date with you!" he says he will jump off the wheel to certain death. I’d imagine most girls would be uncomfortable, if not horrified by this, and rightfully so. Yet this is the beginning of a movie often called the love story of our time.

The relationship between Allie and Noah in "The Notebook" only gets more problematic from there. The narrator says that they “rarely agree on anything” and “fought all the time.” During these fights, Allie physically hits and forcibly shoves Noah. They scream at each other. They call each other names. Noah calls her a “pain-in-the-ass” and says he’s “not afraid to hurt her feelings.” These arguments are minimized by Allie as “just a fight” and justified by being “crazy about each other.” Both excuses are eerily similar to the reasons why people stay in abusive or toxic relationships: the abuse becomes normalized and therefore minimized, and because they believe they are in love.

Yet, despite the disrespect, harassment, and manipulation that began the relationship and the emotionally and physically abusive behaviors of both Allie and Noah, this movie continues to top lists of the best romance movies of all time. Allie and Noah are often referred to as “relationship goals” and tweets like “Still waiting for my Noah Calhoun” seem to always be on my twitter feed.

It makes sense that people like "The Notebook:" movies are made to make the viewer feel a certain way, and the directors want the viewers to like Allie and Noah. The rain, the letters, and the passion they have for each other draw us in. But we should ask ourselves, if our friend was in this relationship would we feel the same way? If a friend said that their partner hits them, said they don’t value their feelings, or that they get in yelling fights every day, would we really look up to them and call it true love? Probably not. We’d probably tell them to leave.

The desire for excitement and passion in a relationship is completely understandable. However, too often movies like "The Notebook" wrap up a toxic relationship in a guise of passion and true love. Since movies like this help form people’s perception of what romantic relationships should be, glamorizing these unhealthy and abusive behavior stops being innocent entertainment and becomes a dangerous influence. So if we really want to have a fictional couple be our relationship goals, can we at least pick a better one?

*cough*Jim and Pam*cough*

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments